Toll in derailment near Kanpur touches 146; No tampering with the tracks as speculated earlier: Railways

accident-coach-kanpurKanpur: An FIR was registered on Monday against unknown railway personnel for Sunday’s accident near Kanpur, even as the death toll in the massive derailment climbed to 146.

So far, 137 bodies have been identified, post-mortem conducted on 133 and 131 handed over to families, District Magistrate (Kanpur Dehat) Ravi Kant Singh told. The administration has arranged 74 vehicles to help relatives transport the bodies to their destinations free of cost. Sixty-four persons are still under treatment in various hospitals, a police spokesperson said. Over 200 were injured in the accident.

Fourteen bogies of the Patna-bound Indore-Rajendranagar Express went off the tracks near Kanpur Dehat in the early hours of Sunday, in one of the worst railway accidents in recent years.

Cause of derailment not yet known

Railway officials are yet to pinpoint a prima facie cause for the massive derailment even as Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu ordered a high-level probe, promising “strictest possible action against the guilty.”

A separate investigation involving technical and forensic analysis by an appropriate agency would also take place to look into all possible angles, said Mr. Prabhu, who had visited the accident site on Sunday.

P.K Acharya, Commissioner, Railway Safety, Eastern Circle, Kolkata, started the statutory enquiry into the accident, even as the North Central Railways has sought help from the public to provide accounts. While a rail fracture could have been the cause of the accident, S.K. Agarwal, DRM Jhansi division, on Sunday hinted that there was no tampering with the tracks as speculated. The CRC probe will make it clear, he said.

FIR filed

“Unknown Railway personnel” were booked under Sections 337 and 378 (causing hurt/causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety), and 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the Indian Penal Code for the derailment.

Sections 151 (damage to or destruction of certain railway properties) and 154 of Railways Act (endangering safety of persons travelling by railway by rash or negligent act or omission) were also invoked, a police spokesperson said. “A terrorist or explosive angle has not come into light in the accident,” a press statement from the DGP’s headquarters here said.

The intensive rescue operation jointly undertaken by the State police, Railway officials, Army jawans, five teams of the NDRF and local volunteers, concluded on Monday evening. DGP Javeed Ahmed, who inspected the site, ordered an FIR in the accident, which was then registered at the GRP thana Bhimsen.

Of the dead identified so far, 68 persons were from U.P., 28 from M.P., 31 from Bihar, two from Maharashtra and one from Jharkhand. Two separate FIRs were lodged for missing persons. The NDRF said it had rescued 55 persons and extricated 74 bodies.